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Old 05-21-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

I was just reminiscing and noticed three things which inspired me as far as Aikido is concerned. Three points in time if you like and so thought it would make an interesting thread. It could be what? or who? It may only be one thing. Anyway I'll start the ball rolling with my personal three and leave the rest to whoever else wants to say. Mine are:

1) My first encounter with my teacher.

2) The first time I saw Ueshiba performing. (on film)

3) The first time I watched the first Friendship Demonstration.

All had that inspiring effect for me.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
Shadowfax
 
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1) Attending a Mark Rashid clinic and reading his book Horsemanship through life in which he discussed how he came to discover aikido and the lessons from the martial art that have had a profound effect on him as a horseman. That got me looking for a local dojo despite my having never been in the least bit interested in martial arts in all of my then 39 years.

2) Mary Heiny Sensei who despite a hip replacement was still teaching and throwing people around when I fitrst met her ony a few months into my early training. Who has continued to travel and teach and was doing so within only a few months of also having a knee replacement. Her anual visits to our dojo are a really special and much anticipated event.

3) My teacher Matt Fisher who despite having muscular dystrophy which has caused him to not have the full use of his body and very little strength of muscle, achieved the rank of yondan and can still put me on the floor and leaving me wondering how I got there.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. Ron showing me unbendable arm and inviting me to class.
2. The summer camp I tested for 1st dan.
3. Our students.

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Old 05-26-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1) My father
2) Chiba Kazou
3) my fellow aikidoka
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1) The idea that we can train to prepare for conflicts through a kind of "waging peace." (I'm paraphrasing)
2) The discipline of my teacher and fellow students
3) The process of self-discovery

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
BJohnston
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. Reading and watching videos of O'Sensei.

2. Seeing someone else's point of view on a technique. There is always so much to learn from others.

3. That feeling you get when you've tapped into something greater than you thought you were capable of.

B
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #7
Russell Robinson
Dojo: Steiner Ranch Aikido, Austin, TX
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. My first teacher telling me, after I explained to him that I could only train one day a week: "Don't bother."
2. The concept of satsu jen ken. Having a path of destuction open to you and choosing not to take it.
3. The first time I saw a connection between the principles I was learning on the mat and their application in my daily life.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
JP3
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. My first aikido instructor, Mr. Paul Chang, then a nidan when I was 8. Great guy, small in stature, especially when in comparison to the Midwest redneck guys in the class. I was awestruck at how easily he handled them, moving around them while they did whatever they did and it would almost always end suddenly, uke coming to a full stop and unwilling to move another muscle as something had come to a point where it was going to get very bad very quickly. Tap-tap.

2. You will laugh. Above the Law. No kidding. I had been off in punch-kick for some years by then, and had earned a brown belt in Shotokan variant karate, and had just earned my 1st degree in taekwondo. Saw the movie, and instally remembered #1, above. Brought back memories. Alas, there was no one in the "new" home area with an aikido program. So, off into hapkido and muay thai I went.

3. Now, lotsa years later, I'm freshly amazed at the high dan grades at Windsong Dojo in OKC who work out/train with Nick Lowry. Great people, really good folks. Some freakishly good aikido goes on there, with people usually laughing when someone shows someone else something they'd not seen and saying, "Ain't that just the weirdest dang thing ya ever felt?"

I admit, it isn't the most formal place in the world to train, but it may be one of the best. IMO, of course.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:44 AM   #9
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

Hi ,
My inspiration came from the following people,
1.Chiba Sensei.2.Slim Coyle [my first teacher 3.George Girvan.Sad to say both Slim and George are dead. Later on I met the late Sekiya Sensei and he gave me a different insight to my Aikido.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:19 PM   #10
mastermeindl
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

When I was a kid, I used to watch Kung Fu Theater on USA Network every weekend. Seemed so amazing. But it wasn't until I was about 24 that I finally decided to study a martial art. The problem was that all the martial arts I was aware of were of the kicking/punching/blocking sort which, by that point, were very out of line with my personal philosophy.

Somewhat serendipitously, a few days after I had decided to study a martial art, I noticed a flyer stuck to the window of the building where I worked. The flyer had not been there before. It was an Aikido flyer with an image of two Aikidoka and a brief description of the martial art. It instantly resonated with me. That same evening I called up the number on the flyer. That was inspiration #1.

A few days later, I attended my first class. During the class, I had no idea what was going on and had never before moved my body in any way even remotely similar. I felt pretty clumsy. But afterward... Afterward, while I was at the grocery store (weird), I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness. I had just taken the first step into a whole new world. That was inspiration #2.

After a few months of attending class, the guys were talking about a Steven Seagal movie and some of the techniques he used. I said, "What? Does Steven Seagal do Aikido or something?" They all laughed. That night I went and picked up a bunch of Seagal movies, some of which I'd already seen. But where before I had only seen him breaking arms, I now saw Aikido. Wow. A movie star who does Aikido in his movies. That's so cool. Inspiration #3.

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Old 06-12-2013, 07:43 AM   #11
Walter Martindale
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. Mel Malinowski, Saskatoon Aikikai - No Mel, No Start.
2. No Competition (had my fill of that with judo)/ "cooperative" training - My experience is with people who let you get away with minor errors early in the learning, and get less cooperative with progress until if you don't get it right, you're countered.
3. After years of really bad problems with the lower back, aikido helped me get and stay active.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:39 AM   #12
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1 - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei.
2 - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei.
3 - TK Chiba Sensei.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
Mark Harrington
Dojo: Aikido Arnis of Farmville
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

The grad student that was working for me that introduced me to Aikido. He asked me to proofread a paper for him. It was a draft of the paper he had written as one of his testing requirements. I started asking questions, one thing led to another, and all that lead to a "grab my wrist" moment. He did a nikyo, refused to explain it, show me, or do it again, offering only to introduce me at his dojo.

My current instructor, Shihan Sam Pasour. His personal dedication to his study of Aikido, his willingness to share and teach, and the understated way he carries himself.

The annual week long summer camp, especially the first one I attended. I had been studying two years, but I came home from that first camp with a new level of interest and dedication.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:23 AM   #14
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
1 - Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and Ken Williams Sensei.
2 - Masahilo Nakazono Sensei.
3 - TK Chiba Sensei.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.co.uk/
Hi Henry,
As you know my first glimpse of Aikido was my encounter with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and of course my meeting with Chiba Sensei.Both of these men really made a big impression [my outline on the tatami was visible for hours after I bit the dust after getting thrown]]on me.
These were really good times.Hope you and Derek are well.Say hi To rik /Jay for me. Take care, Joe.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:21 PM   #15
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi Henry,
As you know my first glimpse of Aikido was my encounter with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and of course my meeting with Chiba Sensei.Both of these men really made a big impression [my outline on the tatami was visible for hours after I bit the dust after getting thrown]]on me.
These were really good times.Hope you and Derek are well.Say hi To rik /Jay for me. Take care, Joe.
Hi Joe

I suspect we could write an article on the things that we were so fortunate to experience in those early days
Derek is well, I am surviving. Rik is on great form with a major event in a few months time - Jay is a little power house 10 wins - 1 loss ( 8 first round wins - last one 17 seconds Aikido head kick ).

Take good care.

Henry

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:33 PM   #16
JP3
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

Walter said, " 2. No Competition (had my fill of that with judo)"

Know what you mean there, but if you can get witht he right bunch of players, doing as it is somewhat-snottily called by the sport guys (almost always young guys) as "gentleman's judo," it is a lot of fun, and VERY akin to good, flowing aikido practice. It is very hard not to laugh and smile and have a good time... which is a funny thing to say when getting tossed rear end over the whatsit.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:57 PM   #17
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

The elegance of the art (the interdependence of uke and nage and the morally/ethically praiseworthy solution to violence).

The geometry of the art (emphasis on the circle, square and triangle).

Randori (its application to development of mushin and development of the senses and peripheral vision, all of which are important to self-defence).
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
PaulF
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1 My friend at university 20+ years ago showing me the Dynamic Sphere's illustration of the minimum response ethic of aikido

2 Kisshomaru's "Spirit of Aikido" passages on non-violence, non-competition and universal inclusivity

3 Gwynne Jones, Shin Gi Tai (and the general warmth and welcome of everyone I've trained with)
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:05 AM   #19
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: Top Three things that inspired you in Aikido

1. Reading K. Tohei's book Aikido in Daily Life - That inspired me to start the journey.

2. Sensei Ken Williams - hugely inspiring teacher, a true gentleman and ambassador of the art.

3. Meeting so many fine folk on the same path

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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